GE Link Power State Issues

(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #1

I have seen and read through many of the threads that already exist here regarding the GE Link bulbs.
I have been to this thread too…

However, I assumed that whatever they came up with in that thread has already been baked into the official device type. Is that true or not?

Anyway, my problem is that, when I manually turn off the actual power to a light fixture that has one of these bulbs in it, the next time I turn it on, the GE bulb/s in it simply turn on.

Why don’t they check in with the ST hub, and take on the state which the ST system says they are in?
e.g. If I have them set to be off in ST, then why would they turn on?
I could MAYBE understand if, for whatever reason, they came on temporarily for just a moment and then went off, but even that is goofy.

They should just check in with the ST hub, and do whatever it says they are supposed to be doing at this given time.

Am I missing something here?

(Dan) #2

The bulbs are designed to work like a regular light bulb if you remove / apply power physically. I think that’s the default behavior for Zigbee devices. Maybe one of the ZIgbee exports will chime in.

This is one of the reasons why I will probably not install any more smart bulbs in my house. It makes much more sense to me to install smart switches with regular bulbs. You get both the automation and physical switch behavior without all these side issues.

We had the first power failure since installing SmartThings at the house the other day, and when the power was restored, all the smart bulbs came on - GE Links and LIFX. None of the lights connected to Z-Wave switches or the smart power outlet came on.

(Scott G) #3

I think it’s mainly this. Take away the ability to cycle the bulb via the switch, and the bulb would become worthless if the hub is down. The reset procedure would have to change. Non-automation favoring spouses everywhere would throw tantrums. You’d have to use your phone, app, connected switch, etc… to have any functionality.

It might be counter-intuitive to those of use who intend for the automation and like using our apps and phones, but the bulb would be much more confusing for the general consumer if it didn’t function like a dumb bulb via switch power on/off.

Would a switch have the opposite issue? If “on” when the power fails, would it still be “on” after the power is restored? Since they aren’t mechanical, I wasn’t sure if these connected switches needed juice to close the circuit.

(Scott G) #4

The official device type has not changed in response to the community one, and the message that the bulb sends when it first powers on, isn’t 100%, especially if there are multiple bulbs coming on simlutaneously.

It would be possible to change the way the parse structure works, and instead of updating the ST state when it receives messages; we could check the ST state and take action if there’s a mismatch instead. You would lose the ability to change the state of the device (bulbs in this case) via any method except the defined ST capabilities though. No smart switches with direct association. No remote devices that can send their own commands. It ultimately would remove, rather than enhance functionality.

Maybe future automation systems will get better, but until then, choose between bulb/switch based on the situation.


All you’re missing is that these are zigbee bulbs, intended to be installed in a power always on setup.

Zigbee is a mesh network intended to keep costs way down in both dollars and energy draw, and to be “resilient” (more on that later).

It keeps costs down by using mostly stupid end devices. Seriously stupid. Basically they know on/off and a few parameters like dim level or color. They fo NOT know their previous state, save state, send special messages to the hub, or any of the kinds of things you may be used to from wifi devices. They’re really limited. Which is why they can be sold for $15.

This has nothing to do with SmartThings, it would be true whether you were using Wink or Homeseer or the Phillips Hue Bridge. Pir whether the bulb brand is GE, Phillips, Osram, Cree, or Yee. Zigbee smart bulbs are intended for always on installations.

What you do about that depends on your particular use case. The easiest solution is to add smart light switches, but that does increase cost.